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Guilherme Cunha, DM9Rio, art director
Otto Pajunk, DM9Rio, writer
Diogo Mello, DM9Rio, creative director
Álvaro Rodrigues, DM9Rio, chief creative officer
Renato Fachim, DM9Rio, strategy
Herbert Rafael/Ricardo Wagner, 3bits, creative technologists
Mauricio Luiz, programmer
Junio Vitorino, 3bits, technology director
Sonido, sound designer
FOM, fabricator
Lincoln Alves/Gabriela Silva, 3bits, production designers
Sullivan Henrique, 3bits, production manager
Monique Lima, DM9Rio, project manager
Trator Filmes, digital effects company
3bits, project design and development
Antonio Luis Navarro, client

Launch Site

“Of all the entries I viewed, this one is my favorite. It’s refreshing to see technology used to positively impact others.” —juror Eric Karjaluoto

“This seamless integration of the physical with the virtual makes the digital so utterly human. For me, a project like this sits in the category of ‘world changing.’” —juror Tali Krakowsky

Overview: The ELO Teddy Bear was created to ease the loneliness and suffering of children going through cancer treatment at Hospital Amaral Carvalho in São Paulo, Brazil. Often these children must remain completely isolated because of the frailty of their immune systems, and they may spend several weeks without seeing their friends and families. The ELO Teddy Bear is an interactive solution that takes advantage of the way children bond with their toys in order to help the young patients feel less alone without compromising their treatment. With a simple squeeze, the hypoallergenic teddy plays recorded messages from loved ones.

DM9Rio was responsible for the idea, and 3bits developed the technological solution.
FOM, a pillow manufacturer, designed a bear specifically for the project.
By pressing the bear’s hand, children can play messages from their loved ones, which are remotely transmitted to the toy.

Comments by Herbert Rafael:
What are the project’s core features? “It’s a very simple mechanism: friends and relatives use their own smartphones to record voice messages and send them via WhatsApp to a phone number made available by the hospital. Each toy has its own number. A web app intercepts the message before it reaches the toy, and the messages are screened by moderators at the hospital, picking out content according to the progress of the treatment and the emotional state of each child. A mobile app specifically designed for this project synchronizes the messages so that children only receive the messages chosen by their doctors.”

What was the response? “ELO Teddy Bear has become a relevant support tool for children’s cancer treatment inside the hospital. Its reach inside social networks was huge: the video demonstration of the project at work was viewed 926,324 times in five months. The project was widely publicized by Brazilian mainstream media and was featured in a television report by the biggest communications network in the country.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Keeping the technology invisible to the children. The teddy bear needed to be their only contact; a pleasing object they could care for that would stimulate the imagination and bring comfort, affection, fun and companionship. Technology was only a tool here, a means for communication.”


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